You don’t have to head to the other side of the world to experience breath-taking beaches. Some of the world’s best are right here in Europe. Here’s our pick of the top sandy stretches for summer 2015.
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera
Paradise found? You may think so when you arrive at this outstandingly beautiful beach on the tiny island of Formentera. With water clear enough to rival any Caribbean spot, the best way to enjoy the beach is by booking accommodation on sister island Ibiza and taking advantage of the daily ferry.
Surrounded by pine clad mountains, this sweeping beach showcases miles of golden sand and offers prime flopping territory. Also known as turtle beach, it is an important breeding ground for the protected animals, and as such is closed between 8am and 8pm between May and October. The shallow waters also make it a perfect option for families with children.
With its enormous sand dune field shaped by the sea, basking on the beach here is a unique experience. The height of the dunes means you will have plenty of space to spread out, while enjoying your very own slice of desert life.
Red Beach, Santorini
The clue is in the name with this beach. The magnificent vivid red colour of both the sand and surrounding red cliffs make for a stunning setting on this beautiful island. A rocky beach, it isn’t one for lounging but is certainly a great spot for photos and a must-see when visiting Santorini.
Cala Turqueta, Menorca
This stunning and protected beach is the perfect option for some undisturbed R&R. With its white-sand beach and sparkling waters, it’s the perfect place to escape to. Just don’t expect to find deckchairs and beach cocktails here– its unspoilt beauty also means there are zero facilities.
El Golfo, Lanzarote
Forget picture postcard golden sands here. The dramatic black sand in this natural cove contrasts sharply with the vivid green lagoon found at the back of the beach presenting a truly striking scene.
Playa de la Concha, Spain
While San Sebastian may be best known for its fabulous food (it holds a total of 16 Michelin stars), Playa de la Concha is a great beach for working on your tan, or even just for people watching. And of course, at the end of the day, you deserve a tasty snack.
Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia
The outstanding beauty of Kefalonia makes it no surprise that it was chosen as the location for the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Backed by soaring limestone cliffs, the turquoise water and white pebble beach is the stuff of fantasy. And if sizzling on the sand isn’t your thing, visit the beach in the evening when you can witness a spectacular Ionian sunset.